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Immigration and Naturalization Attorneys

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What Is an Immigrant?

An immigrant is a non-citizen living in the United States. Being a non-citizen means that they were born in a foreign country and have yet to acquire American citizenship. According to U.S. immigration laws, a non-citizen needs either:

  • An Immigrant Visa: This type of visa is for people who want to live in the U.S. permanently. One example of an immigrant visa is a green card.
  • A Non-Immigrant Visa: These visas are for people who plan on living in the U.S. for only a short time. These visas are commonly given to tourists, students, and employees.

What Are Immigration Laws?

Immigration laws regulate how a person can come to the United States, qualify for a visa, and be deported. The laws include various ways to obtain temporary and permanent visas. Once in the U.S., an individual must still follow certain immigration laws to remain in the country. Immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens must follow additional rules to complete the process of becoming a naturalized citizen.

What Is Naturalization?

Naturalization is a process through which an immigrant can become a U.S. citizen. The first requirement in the naturalization process is for an individual to have a permanent resident status. To obtain permanent resident status, the individual needs to acquire a green card. After acquiring a green card, they must possess this green card for five years to apply for naturalization.

Immigration law also requires for an immigrant to complete a naturalization application and take a test as part of the naturalization process. The naturalization test is an actual exam that tests the individual on:

  • Language
  • Civics

The language portion of the examination tests an application on his ability to write, read, and speak the English language. The civics portion of the test focuses on the applicant’s knowledge of U.S. history, culture, and government.
If an applicant fails the naturalization test, they must wait at least 90 days before they are allowed to take the test a second time. If they fail the test a second time, they are usually denied the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen.

What Is a Certificate of Naturalization?

A Certificate of Naturalization is a document proving an individual successfully obtained naturalized citizenship in the United States.

Should I Consult an Attorney about Immigration and the Naturalization Process?

Yes. Since the process of becoming a naturalized American citizen is complex and confusing, it is in your best interest to seek the help of an immigration attorney.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 06-17-2018 07:17 PM PDT

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